Damming the Little Colorado River for power projects is opposed by tribes, environmentalists

The proposed hydroelectric storage projects would be about 5 miles outside Grand Canyon National Park. The Grand Canyon Trust argues the projects, which would dam the Little Colorado River, a tributary of the Colorado River, would directly affect the water supply within the Canyon. (Photo by Jake Eldridge/Cronkite News) If Pumped Hydro Storage’s permits are approved by the federal government, the Phoenix company would be allowed to assess the feasibility of building two hydroelectric storage projects on the Little Colorado River. (Photo by James Carr/Cronkite News) PHOENIX – A Phoenix company wants to build two massive hydroelectric projects on the Little Colorado River, a main tributary of the Colorado River, which carves the Grand Canyon. Environmentalists and Native Americans say the projects threaten life within the Canyon and would defile sacred land.

Pumped Hydro Storage LLC has applied for permits to assess the feasibility of two projects consisting of four dams, two reservoirs and generators. Approval of the permits only would allow the study of the area, not construction.

The Hopi Tribe, which holds the land in question to be sacred, and the Grand Canyon Trust filed motions to intervene in the permit process. Although the projects would be about 5 miles outside Grand Canyon National Park, they would directly affect the water supply of the canyon, according to the trust, whose stated mission is to safeguard the Canyon and the Colorado Plateau while supporting the rights of Native people.

One of the Grand Canyon’s most iconic features is the blue-green waters […]

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